Does Westworld’s Orgy Scene Prove TV’s Gone Too Far?

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We’re living in a golden age of television at the moment but a recent scene in HBO’s latest hit show Westworld has got people questioning whether this telly renaissance is in fact a dark age.

For those not in the know Westworld is show set in a cowboy theme park full of human androids who act like real people. Players pay to go into the park and live out their cowboy-based fantasies.

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Basically this involves an awful lot of murder, sex followed up by more murder and the show, like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, isn’t shy in dishing out graphic content.

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This, and a recent head crushing in The Walking Dead,  has worried the perennial handwringers over at the Daily Mail who’ve got their knickers in a twist over a scene in the most recent episode which featured a full blown orgy.

The Mail write that many people on social media were left questioning whether the scenes should have been broadcast, especially as the episode went out a 9pm on a Sunday when children could be watching.

While it’s good of the Mail to worry about the country’s children I must say I disagree with them and those who don’t think there’s room on the telly for graphic content.

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Aside from the fact that the show is an adult TV programme which responsible parents should know is in no way appropriate for children the scene was in no way intended to be sexy or titillating.

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In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Westworld producer Jonathan Nolan explained that the scene was intended to allow us the audience to empathise with the robots in the park as they’re used by guests.

As a show Westworld has never shied away from the moral quandary of murdering or having sex with a robot that’s indistinguishable from a human being but has no free will – in fact the grey moral area that the park occupies is one of the show’s central themes.

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You as a viewer are supposed to be outraged by what’s happening on screen because of how gross and morally dubious the situation is and the fact that the show’s generated this amount of coverage from the scene proves it’s working.

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Not that I’m completely on the side of TV execs either, they know sex sells and aren’t afraid to use it to their advantage.

While censorship because it makes people uncomfortable is ridiculous, art should challenge people, the Daily Beast have hit the nail on the head in that the sex scenes in a lot of programmes are gratuitous and add nothing to the plot.

Basically nudity when it’s not driven by the narrative or there to make a point is the TV equivalent of click bait but can be done properly.


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Daily Mail

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